Jesse and Erin Hostetler married 13 years ago, and three years later established JHM Construction; he organized the building team and sales, while Erin took over the books.
Over the years, they’ve built custom homes and speculation homes, and, although they’ve lived temporarily in some of them, the couple never set out to build their ideal family home — one that they and their two sons (Jackson, 6, and Easton, 3) could grow into.
And then there’s Gracie, the dog. They wanted a home with plenty of yard, room for a swimming pool (the one thing the children asked for), outdoor entertaining and enough bedrooms for visiting family. They have four.
They also decided on an open-concept floor plan, with the kitchen and dining areas flowing into the family room and outside to the lanai and pool pavilion.
Erin, especially, wanted a playroom for the boys that she could see from the kitchen. She also wanted a mud room and a separate laundry room big enough to accommodate a section she could make into a little studio apartment for Gracie.
Erin’s wish list extended to a big, walk-in pantry fully organized with shelving, cabinetry and counter space. She wanted an extra-large white farmhouse sink (hers is 36 inches long), a large kitchen island (10 by 5 feet) and white marble counter tops.
Jesse wanted covered outdoor entertainment space and walls of pocketed sliding-glass doors so that the inside and outside spaces would be fully integrated. Inside he wanted 12-foot ceilings and solid-wood interior doors of 8 feet. A handsome fireplace in the family room was a must, with another outside.
Jesse insisted on high-quality spray-foam insulation, hurricane-code windows and doors, and an LED system of recessed lighting for every room, with everything on dimmers. He subsequently ended up with 115 of these small recessed lights throughout the one-story home, which has 3,460 square feet under air and 5,580 square feet overall.
The Hostetlers found their three-quarter-acre lot in The Hammocks, a new community in east Sarasota off Bee Ridge Road. They purchased the lot in 2013 and moved into their finished home in January 2015.
From the beginning of the design process, the Hostetlers had the advice of interior designer Jill Geisdorf, a longtime friend and a woman in the same stage of life — a mother in a growing young family.
“It was never a matter of taste or style,” said Geisdorf. “Erin and Jesse are confident in what they like and knew how they would furnish their home. But they wanted a fresh eye and someone who could help source fabrics and furniture for them, and help them coordinate a whole house, from the color palette to the size of the furniture based on the proportions of their rooms.
“Surface materials were an issue — the color and kind of stone, tile, marble, things like that. It’s the way you customize a home, from the tongue-and-groove plank cypress ceiling on Jesse and Erin’s lanai, to the white Carrara marble counters in the kitchen, to the light fixtures in one of the bathrooms.
“Erin acquired a pair of antique pulleys at an auction and we made pendant lights with old-time Edison bulbs out of them for above the mirrors in that bathroom. They’re unique.”
Designer Geisdorf said paint colors were another issue, usually a difficult one for homeowners. “Eric and Jesse like a cool palette of soft gray, slate blue, navy blue, wood-tone browns and black. So, we had to know when to use white or cream or a lighter shade of blue or gray to extend the color scheme to the ceilings, furniture and accessories. We needed variety within the color range and lots of soft and inviting textures.
“What we ended up is a house that feels comfortable, relaxed, young but polished.”
The Hostetlers sourced most of their furniture from Pottery Barn and RH.
Jesse Hostetler, who started out as a stone mason in the building industry, is most proud of his concrete counter top in the outdoor kitchen. It’s a 88-square-foot single gray slab poured on site by Jesse and his employees.
“It’s as smooth as glass and just gorgeous,” said the homeowner. “You can see it from the kitchen and dining area, and it works perfectly with our furniture. It was a challenge to get it just right, and I’m really happy with how it came out. Friends who come here for parties always comment on that counter.”
Given the size of the Hostetler home and all the features, both practical and aesthetic, that the homeowners included in their home, it is probably not the typical family home that many young working people in this part of Florida could afford. Hostetler estimates that if he were to put his house on the market today (and he isn’t), the asking price would be upwards of $1 million.
Yet, for first-time budget builders or homeowners renovating or adding square footage to an existing home, most of what the Hostetlers did to create a high-performing, comfortable, kid-friendly environment could be incorporated into almost any budget.
It’s a matter of selecting practical, family-friendly elements that make the most sense in terms of cost versus convenience, priorities versus pretty.
VOICES OF EXPERIENCE
What Jesse and Erin Hostetler put into their family home that they believe you should consider:
— The best insulation you can afford. If building new, use the spray-foam insulation.
— Hurricane-code windows and doors. You won’t need outside shutters, and the house will be quieter inside.
— Useable storage above the garage in the attic. Have a plywood floor laid down throughout the attic, otherwise it’s wasted space.
— Fit the garage with wall-mounted cabinets or shelves, or some system for storage.
— Design a whole-house lighting system when you build the house. LED is the best. Put everything on dimmers. We’ve got 115 recessed ceiling lights throughout our house.
— A walk-in pantry is terrifically useful, especially if you include some counter space in that room.
— Give yourself a mud room off the garage, completely separate from the laundry room. If you have kids or dogs, a mud room is a practical place for people to drop their back packs, keep outdoor shoes, whatever. The mud room was one the best spaces we gave ourselves in this house.
— In the bathrooms, run the tile in the tub and shower area right up to the ceiling. It’s a practical thing to do and makes the room look finished. The extra cost is well worth it.
— Solid-wood interior doors that are 8 feet tall increase the value of the home and are so good looking.
— If you’re going to cage the pool area, go with the new clear-view cage. This system eliminates ugly horizontal aluminum bars that interfere with the view, and the screening is practically invisible.